Victor, no longer paralyzed with sadness, runs for his mom's kitchen gadgets and just like a mini MacGyver builds himself a machine to re-animate Sparky. While this seems like a good idea at the time, the bullies in the town try to steal his idea and pure chaos erupts as various pets are "monsterfied" and terrify the town.
If a horror movie can be called "cute," Frankenweenie would definitely qualify. The pets that were brought back to life were scary in an easy going way, perfect for a kid's first horror movie. Very young ones may be scared but this is where the black and white filming really helped.
Even if you have never lost a pet, this movie is a great way to talk about what happens when a pet dies and how to help people who have lost a pet. Asking kids what they liked best about the movie, a seven- and five-year-old both told me they liked the part where Sparky came back to life.
Wouldn't we all like to have one more day with one of our beloved pets?
In a fantasy world like the one Frankenweenie lived in, such a thing is real. In our lives, not so much. So how can a parent use this movie to have a meaningful talk about real death and grief? Here are some ideas to consider:
1. Be alert to your child's body language while watching the movie. My grandson was four when a trailer for Frankenweenie was shown at a showing of The Lorax. He reached for my hands and used them to cover his eyes and ears. Even though some young children will be fine seeing this film, yours might be a bit squeamish.